By Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal
Owner: Tommy Dahlem
Employees: 6 full-time; 3 part-time
Address: 40464 Old Highway 45, Hamilton
Telephone: (662) 343-8342
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. until noon
QUOTE: ‘We really appreciate all of our customers. We’re a tight-knit community.’
Hamilton Auto Parts
For Hamilton Auto Parts to be under Tommy Dahlem’s ownership is more of a birthright than a business venture. His maternal grandfather, James Winders, started the business as Winders Parts in 1938 and that name has stuck with the community.
“Even though we changed the name in 1994, there are still plenty of people in town who say, ‘Well, I need to run down to Winders to get a part.’ We’ve been here so many years and have been such a healthy business because of our friends and neighbors,” said Dahlem, who also runs Hamilton’s cotton gin and owns Amory’s NAPA store.
When Dahlem’s father bought the Hamilton auto parts store, it also became part of flip-flopping work between auto parts and cotton gins. After he returned solely to the cotton market, Dahlem split ownership of the parts store with his brother-in-law, James Tucker, in 1994. The family has had first dibs on buying the business anytime it has changed hands.
The store doubles as a parts store and a service station, focusing on tires, brakes and oil changes. Eddie Longstreet has been the store’s tire professional for 25 years.
“For years, my uncle was the shop manager and my dad was the store manager, but we’ve found our niche in tires, oil and brakes. We try to stay out of doing engine work,” Dahlem said.